The Pittsburgh Pirates inducted 19 players and managers into their first team Hall of Fame class on Saturday at PNC Park.
The Pirates announced earlier this year that they were creating this hall of fame to recognize the great players in Pittsburgh baseball history, and to celebrate the impact they had on baseball and on the way of life in Pittsburgh.
Three of the 19 members inducted are living, and all three were on hand to celebrate and receive their yellow jackets: Steve Blass, Dave Parker and Bill Mazeroski. The event made Blass emotional, as he said, “It really didn’t hit me until I saw that plaque up on the wall and had my name added to that list. What an honor it is. In all the years with this organization, 60 years, teammate of Bill Mazeroski’s, it’s hard to express how happy and honored and humbled I am to be on that list.”
Members of the Negro League, including the Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords, were signed to one-day contracts and inducted into the Hall of Fame as well. They included Josh Gibson. Gibson’s grandson was thrilled to be on hand to accept the honor on behalf of his late grandfather.
Gibson said, “It’s an honor for Josh and the rest of the Negro League players who never had a chance not just to play for the Pirates, but Major League Baseball at all. it’s a great honor for the Pirates to step up to the plate and sign these guys to a contract. They understand the history of the Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords.”
Twelve who are also enshrined as Pirates in the National Baseball Hall of Fame:
Negro League Players enshrined:
Josh Gibson (Crawfords & Grays)
Ray Brown (Grays)
Buck Leonard (Grays)
Oscar Charleston (Crawfords & Grays)
Pirates enshrined who are not in the National Baseball Hall of Fame:
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